|Antibody/Viral Load Tests (please answer!)
Apr 14, 2007
Hello Dr. Bob: I had unprotected top anal sex several weeks ago with high risk individual. stupid, I know, and I am a born again unisexual right now.
I developed flu like symptoms (fever, sore throat, fatigue) on around day 18 that have turned into heavy cold virus symptoms (sore throat, nasal drip, chest congestion, fatigue) and are starting to get better (day 28).
On day 24, I had negative rapid antibody test. On day 25, blood was taken and processed at lab for HIV antibody and Viral Load. Both have come back negative.
Does negative viral load at day 25 produce any fairly conclusive results?
Thank you. You are a wonderful man. I will donate to your organization.
| Response from Dr. Frascino
No doubt that unprotected anal sex with a high-risk individual places you at risk for STDs, including HIV. "Symptoms" at days 18 to 28 would fall into the timeframe for possible ARS; however, symptoms are notoriously unreliable in determining who is and is not HIV infected. Your negative rapid test and "viral load" test on days 24 and 25 respectively are encouraging, but I cannot call them "fairly conclusive." You will need an ELISA test at the three-month mark for a definitive result. One encouraging fact is that plasma HIV RNA (viral load) is generally markedly elevated in acute retroviral syndrome prior to seroconversion. However, this test is not appropriate or approved for routine HIV screening.
Thanks for your donation (www.concertedeffort.org). In return I'm sending my good-luck karma that your definitive and conclusive three-month HIV test will remain negative.
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